Emilio and I like projects to breathe and grow. We started with a concept -- write songs, make demos, then let the guest stars listen to them and then afffect the writing process. For Jose Feliciano, I had written a chorus and a bit of a melody. He started playing the chorus and ad-libbing. I went, "This is the [stuff]! Forget my melody!" Carlos Santana worked just the other way. He wanted me to record a plished take singing first, so his playing could recreate my emotion. I got goose bumps [writing "90 Millas"]. Like in "Esperando," which is addressed to Cubans on the island. Those of us in America, we're like the bogeyman, but I wanted Cubans at home to know: Whatever happened doesn't matter. The future is for us to heal. Adn also: because we're here, we latched onto any part of our culture. Yes and no [this is a political record]. Politics is life, so yes. but it's not specific. Saying that 90 miles haven't divided us sends a message about freedom for Cuba -- and for everyone.